When put in landfills, rubber tyres cause serious environmental pollution, and sadly, of the 20 million tyres needing disposal in Australia each year, 78 percent are sent to landfills or dumped illegally. If you have old tyres, you don't have to harm the environment by putting them in a landfill. Instead, you can recycle them into something fun for your kids. Here are five ideas:
1. Decorative Characters
With a few different sized tyres, you can make a fun cartoon-esque character for your child's room. Whether you make a bunny or a bear, you need one standard-sized car tyre and three slightly smaller ones from an ATV, moped or motorcycle.
Paint the tyres your desired colour. Place two tyres flat on the ground to act as your animal's feet. Place one tyre upright on top of the smaller tyres – that forms the body of your animal. Finally, add the last small tyre to the top to be the face.
Cut circles out of plywood to cover the middle of the body and the face. Then, paint your animal, and add fun accessories such as hands, bow ties, ears and hats. Get the kids involved with the design process for even more fun.
2. Kiddie See-Saw
Everyone knows the basics of making a tyre swing, but did you know you can also create a personal sew-saw with a tyre? Slice the tyre in half through its diameter and attach a thin board across the top of the tyre.
Paint the see-saw and decorate it with googly eyes, polka dots or racing stripes. Your little one sits on the board and rocks back and forth. To make a see-saw for two, simply use a longer board.
3. Colourful Play Table
All you need to make a fun kids' play table or study desk is a few tyres and a piece of wood. Paint the tyres fun colours, make two stacks of equal height and place a large board or old tabletop over them.
Voila – you have a table! If you can't find a board suitable for the tabletop, take an old door – often available from salvage shops – decoupage it with fun pictures and enjoy the large surface.
4. Little Garden
Instead of the classic tyre sandbox idea, give your kids some dirt to play with. A large tractor tyre or several small car tyres create the perfect raised garden bed for a little one. Simply, lay a piece of landscaping fabric directly on the ground where you want the garden. Lay a painted tyre on it and fill it with gardening soil.
Then, hand your kid a collection of seeds and let them get planting. Let this garden be your child's very own, and allow them to plant it as they wish. They will love the experience. If gardening isn't your thing, make a sandbox and stick a sun umbrella in it for shade.
5. Bicycle Rack
If you are tired of seeing your kids' bikes littering up the front yard, use a few tyres to make a bicycle rack. To make one, you need a few tyres and a shovel. Dig several holes and plant the tyres in the holes. The bottom half of the each tyre should be underground while the top half sits above the ground, oriented parallel to each other.
Place the tyres so there is enough space to slip a bicycle's front tyre between them. This inground bicycle ramp is sturdy, and it will keep all your bicycles organised. With four old car tyres, you can create enough parking space for three bicycles, and of course, you can paint the rack the colour of your choice.
For more ideas and information, contact a company like ACT Tyre, Brake & Mechanical.